Sometimes, your answer LITERALLY falls from the sky!

Remember my ‘Yard Debris Wreaths’ from a while back?

I had added the nests and birds ‘as a finishing touch’, but they STILL didn’t feel done.  But I had NO idea what else to do!!  Some of you suggested adding a tag; which I tried – and nixed.  They are so ‘organic’ that the tags looked out-of-place.


The one with the nest AND bird is hanging on my front door, and the one above on the shutter door to a cabinet in my living room.


EVERY time I looked at them, I think: “They STILL need something!”  But I don’t know WHAT!!  sigh.

Then, while I was out working in my yard last week, picking up pine cones from the grass, I came across ONE of the wispy tree twigs that I had used to make the twiggy wreaths a while back.  It was just ONE little branch, and I still have a whole basketful of them leftover in my garage, AND about 15 wreaths already made; so I was just going to toss it into my yard debris bin along withe the pine cones.

Then BAM!!! Major BRAINSTORM!! 

THIS (this little twig that I had in my hand) is exactly what the moss and bark wreaths need!!!!


It’s a very subtle added touch, but just that little ‘something more’ that they needed to feel ‘finished’.

The twigs show up much better in person.  So after I did the one on my front door with the branch I had just picked up in my yard; I went to my stash in the garage to find some to add to the other wreath.


I seriously LOVE these wreaths now!

And I kinda think I like the asymmetry of the second one MORE.


This is what I used to attach the twigs.  First I found the ‘spot’ that I wanted it to originate from and ‘punched a hole’ into the wreath with the point of my scissors.  I squeezed a fair amount of tacky glue into the hole and inserted the thick end of my branch.

Then I ‘played around’ a bit with positioning the wispy branch ends.  When I found the spot I wanted them to stay in, I used the floral pins (shown above) pushed in to hold them down.  It was a little tricky to find a spot that the pins would GO through, between the pieces of bark.  Then I just glued another little piece of moss on top of the pin to disguise it!

Do you agree with me that this was the perfect finishing touch for these wreaths?

Sometimes, your answer LITERALLY does, fall from the sky!

Two heads ARE better than one!

MOST of the time I have TOO many ideas.  I’ll know WHAT I want to do, but can’t decide which way to do it.  And oftentimes,  my FIRST idea is not the one I end up using.  Rather one thing leads to another and eventually I get the look I was going for.  It’s a PROCESS.  Then there are the times that I just get STUCK!

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 013And adding ‘that finishing touch’ to these two newly re-papered boxes was one of those times! 

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 016

 The bottom one is ‘hat box’ size and made of paper mache.  

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I have no idea what the top one was for originally.  It had an ugly red-ish alligator skin finish, and is made of wood with a velvet-like lining inside.  VERY sturdy.  My first thought was to make it into a padded foot stool, with storage space inside.

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 020So after I re-papered them and applied a couple of coats of matte varnish for durability, I wanted to add a ‘finishing touch’.  This round wood finial was perfect for the mache hat box; BUT I really wanted to STACK the boxes when I take them to my booth at Curiosities in Beaverton.  So, that meant I couldn’t put a knob on the box that would go on the bottom.

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 022BUT, the little black knob just didn’t ‘look right’ on the bigger box.  It felt too small.

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 024So I decided to ‘beef it up’ a bit.  I always keep some of these little wood plaques on hand, so I tried adding one of those first.

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 023(of course I would have painted it black too, but I was just ‘trying it on for size’ first)  Still not big enough!

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 012So I went back to my ‘wood parts stash’ and got another round piece like the first one.  Found this FABULOUS unfinished ‘bun foot’ and sandwiched it between the 2 small rounds.  Then added a bigger round plaque as a base.  I was still just ‘experimenting’ so nothing had been glued together yet.  And I kept trying different combinations . . .but I was just STUCK!  I could NOT decide what to do?!?!  Because I REALLY wanted the black knob on the black lid; but I also wanted to be able to stack the boxes!!  aaaaaaaaargh!!

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 025The SIZE of the bigger one (as shown above) was certainly the right scale, but for some reason I just could NOT commit to permanently attaching it to the bigger box.  Maybe I was ‘too stuck’ on the idea that it would make a great storage foot stool?!?

So I enlisted Michael’s help  and asked for his opinion.  Showed him all the different options, and explained why I didn’t want to attach it to the hatbox, but also didn’t want to ruin the possibility that the bigger one could be used as a foot stool.

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It took him maybe 2 seconds to come up with the perfect solution:  Just leave it SEPARATE, like a finial.  Don’t attach it to either, but just set it on top of the taller box when you display them.

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Genius!  HOW did I not think of that myself?!?!?



Fine tuning my new space at Stars

After looking at the pictures I took last week of my new space, I decided I needed to ‘switch up’ a few things.  As well as I THOUGHT I had planned everything out, I had quite a bit to do-over.

3.12.13 NEW BOOTH Stars 001First was this out facing ‘wall’.  I have several of both white and aqua display shelves.  Can’t believe it didn’t ‘occur to me’ that it would look better to have all the same color on the same side?!?!?  Not that it looks BAD like this.  Just that it could look BETTER if both shelves were the same color.

3.20.13 stars Passion signs 080So I switched it to this.  The white and these aqua shelved are back to back; so I just switched them around.  (had to completely EMPTY them first of course!)  It just looks more ‘cohesive’ now.  Agreed?

3.20.13 stars Passion signs 055The next issue was the walking space (or LACK thereof!) inside the booth.  The bed took up more space than I thought it would; leaving very little room to actually walk through the booth.

3.20.13 stars Passion signs 056I didn’t want to get rid of the bed, but I needed to ‘make it shorter’ somehow.  It was a folding aluminum cot, and could not be shortened at all.  Michael had cut a couple of pieces of plywood for me to lay on the cot springs to protect the air mattress; so I thought I would use those and some stacked wood crates to make a faux and shorter bed.

3.20.13 stars Passion signs 057So I went to our storage garage to get the crates and had to move an old folding card table out of the way.  LIGHTBULB MOMENT!  Why couldn’t I just use the card table for a bed?!?!  Having it higher would help keep kids from climbing on it.  But one card table wasn’t quite long enough for all the pillows and some folded spreads at the foot of the bed.  So I used the two sheets of plywood to ‘extend’ the length of my card table a little at the head and foot!  And I’ll have storage space underneath!

3.20.13 stars Passion signs 092I was now able to put the vintage baby basket full of additional vintage chenille spreads and a basket full of little heart pillows  at the foot of the bed; which pretty much used up all the extra floor space I had just created.  BUT, as that stuff sells I’ll be able to move the baby basket.

3.20.13 stars Passion signs 091But it still ‘opened up’ the space quite considerably.  And the bed really doesn’t look like it’s not a real bed.

I can believe I didn’t think of using a table for a ‘make shift’ bed before?!?!  Like back when we had our own shop to display all the vintage bedspreads on?  And when we did shows?!?!?  Pillows and bed ‘thing’s just look SO much more ‘appealing; ON a bed (or something that LOOKS like a bed!)  So, save this little nugget of information in your memory bank for future use if you ever need a display bed and don’t have room for or just don’t HAVE a real bed!

Armillary love!

I’ve always been fascinated with these things.  And wished I could afford to buy one many times.  Alas, they are not easy to come by at thrift stores or garage sales; so I’ve had to settle for collecting old world globes.  Just HOPING that someday I’d find an armillary to add to my collection.

And this is something that I NEVER would have thought of trying to make myself.  But Christin of “Pregnant with Power Tools” blog fame did!  Check out her tutorial in her guest post here.

And then check out this more recent post on her own blog showing how she made one using metal barrel rings!

Decisions. Decisions!  Which one do I want to try my hand at first?!?!?

‘Day’cation inspiration

Michael and I really need a VAcation, but for now a ‘day’cation was about all we could squeeze into the schedule.  An overnight stay in Long Beach, Washington; just to get away and relax.

Michael forgot to pack a jacket or sweatshirt.  I forgot to pack my hairbrush and it RAINED all day!  Oh well.  We did some sight-seeing from the car, and visited lots of little antique and thrift shops.  More pics to come in a later post, but HERE is my favorite sight from the trip:

How stinkin’ CUTE are all these little red rain boots filled with plants?!?!?

Unfortunately the shop was closed for the day.  A handwritten noted explained their child was participating in the county fair.

With this much creativity showing outside, I can only imagine the fun displays we missed!

And now I am ‘on a mission’ to find LOTS of one color of rainboots so I can replicate this idea for next spring.  Maybe yellow boots filled with purple pansies?

I wish I’d looked a little closer at the boots.   Wondering if they really were all red to begin with, OR if they had been painted red with the new vinyl spray paint???    They ARE all the exact same shade of red, after all.  Any of you tried the new vinyl spray paints on rubber rainboots???

Absolutely AMAZING!!!

Check out this faux capiz shell chandelier over on Shoestring Pavillion!

You will be absolutely AMAZED at what it’s made from!!!  TRULY a ‘trash 2 treasure’ if there ever was one.

Why didn’t I think of this???

Published in: on August 4, 2010 at 10:57 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,

WHY didn’t I think of this?!?!?


Maybe you’ve already seen this, but it bears repeating!  What an amazing idea for creating something TOTALLY different from these hanging wire plant baskets!

Click on the link and go to the Brassy Apple blog to see this amazing creation!  It’s worth the trip.  Definitely putting this on my “TO DO”  list!

Published in: on May 30, 2010 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Why didin’t I think of THIS?!?!?

Is this a beautiful setting or what?!?!

I cannot believe I didn’t think of doing this.  I mean, I JUST did a shabby bird on a pedestal . . . adding the fringe and nest grass is that perfectly elegant little extra OOMPH!!!  And I’ve done hundreds of the plate/candle holder pedestals . . .  just never thought of topping it with a big ELEGANTLY decorated egg and some moss.

And the cute little Easter Greetings tag, I JUST bought a bunch of those little frames last month at Michael’s when they had their 20% off everything coupon.  (Jean and Lynne M!!!  Those are the frames you were asking what I was going to do with them.  Here’s another great idea!)

You can see the how to over on the ROOM TO INSPIRE blog

And the big egg, well I’ve actually never seen those exact big foam eggs in the craft store (we don’t have Hobby Lobby here in the West) but I have big plastic eggs and some big mache ones that I could do a similar treatment on. 

And speaking of things I wish I’d tought of:

At the big antique show at the Expo last weekend there was a booth with a big old open book case  with lots of shelves.  Artfully arranged on the shelves were assorted sizes of hardback books with the covers torn off!!  I tell ya, it was a SPECTACULAR LOOK!!!  Oh so ‘Anthropoligie -esque’. 

I MUST remember that and replicate it soon.  Gotta hit the Goodwill bin store first and grab up a bunch of books on the cheap.

And speaking of the Expo show . . . . . . Michael and I had gone to ‘scout it out’ for potentially participating in  the future.    Now I’ll admit that I had never been to such a venue, so perhaps my expectations were off.   But both Michael and I were extremely UNDERwhelmed!

I had assumed that at the price they charge for a space (around $250.00) and boasting a thousand booths (and doing a little quick math, that’s a quarter million bucks in the show promoters pocket; even minus the facility rental fee) that it would be a ‘nicely presented production’. 

There were indeed a LOT of booths, and how each vendor displays their booth is up to the individual, but the overall presentation of the ‘show’ was just plain SLOPPY!  No divider curtains or backdrops for the booths!!  Well, a few here and there, which we found out was for those who wanted to pay the extra.  But different colors all over the place and some spaces BACKED to another space that had a backdrop, but it only covered HALF of the backing of the space it backed up to!  WTH???  You could hardly tell where one booth ended and another began.  And hardly ANY signage of way of identifying the vendors. 

And NO PLACE to sit and take a break!  We had to leave without seeing it all because my back was hurting and I needed to sit down and rest.  We had seen ONE area of tables in the first building, but that was about 800 booths away from where we were!  sheesh!  If you’re only going to have ONE seating area at least put it in the MIDDLE so it is more accessible!

Oh, and let’s not forget that they charge $7.00 a person entry fee!  Maybe I expected too much.  The only ‘big’ show I ever did was Magic of Christmas ‘back when’ (which was hosted by Stars Antiques) and BEAUTIFULLY  arranged! 

Now we did see some very nicely displayed booth set ups.  Lots of vendors from Stars and Monticello and ones who were advertising that they headed to Farm Chicks in June.   I didn’t really see a LOT of spending going on, but then we WERE only there for a couple of hours.

SO, we can scratch that venue off the list for future participation!


Waste not . . . want not. Scrap wood.

I pride myself on not being wasteful.  Michael and I both do, actually.  And if WE don’t have a use for something, we’ll donate it to someone who does.  We support the thrift stores and Habitat ReStores both by purchasing AND donating.   And we get a lot of ‘orpahns’ left on our doorstep.  (not literally!)  But back when we had our store, we’d have people come in with a pile of something they WERE going to throw away, but thought we could come up with a use for it.  And the circle of life AWAY from the landfill begins.

An example.  Back in the day I used to make a LOT of wooden hearts.  Nearly everything I made had a heart on it.  You remember those days, don’t you?  So, in the process of cutting out all those hearts, I ended up with a lot of triangular shaped scraps.  With some of them, I actually made smaller hearts! (by cutting a “V” out of the top of the triangle and ‘hand carving’ the rest on my belt sander.  Then when I’d made more of those than I knew what to do with, I made carrots out of the triangles.  Carrots for bunny pull toy handles and snow man noses.  Like these:

And these:

For the bunches of carrots, I’d drill a small hole in the top, glue in a snippet of green jute, and once the glue was dry, unravel the jute to look like carrot tops.

Lots of square shaped pieces of wood scraps too.  Most of these became these:

I called them ‘word blocks’.  And I’ve literally sold thousands of these over the years.  So much so that I cannot bear to make them anymore.  I’m OVER the word blocks!  I cannot make myself make them anymore! 

Fortunately I don’t have as many wood scraps as I used to, now that I am doing more vintage than handcrafted, but for the little square and rectangular scraps I DO have, THIS IDEA from Molly Susan Strong’s blog is perfect!  Just gotta remember it for NEXT Valentines Day!


Can’t find a handle that fits???

We run into this QUITE often when we are re-doing old furniture pieces with drawers or doors.    My preference is to look for items that had SINGLE HOLE knobs or pulls if some are missing.  Easy to replace.  BUT, for older items with TWO hole knobs missing, finding a NEW knob or pull that fits those holes can be a challenge, to say the least.

IF you are totally sanding and refinishing the item, you can fill the  just  holes with putty before you paint and then drill new holes to fit your new hardware.  But, if you ‘just need a new pull’ check out THIS cute and simple idea!

Such a fun look.  I might even have to try it ‘on purpose’ and not just out of desperation!